Kevin Pietersen fears Jofra Archer’s England Test career may be over after injury setback

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen believes Jofra Archer may never play a Test match again after the fast bowler suffered a stress fracture of the back.

It is a heartbreaking setback for Archer, who has not played for England since March last year and has already been forced to undergo two operations in a bid to sort out a chronic elbow problem. This latest injury has ruled him out of action for the entire summer and Pietersen believes it is “difficult to imagine him recovering from this to play long-form cricket again”.

In his latest Betway column, Pietersen said: “It’s terrible news for poor Jofra Archer that he’ll miss the whole summer. He’s shown moments of brilliance for England and other teams and it’s just a horrible blow for him.

“It’s difficult to imagine him recovering from this to play long-form cricket again, that’s the horrible reality. Hopefully he can still carve out a top-level white-ball career.”

Archer is one of eight seamers who were not considered for selection for the first Test of the summer against New Zealand due to a variety of fitness issues. However, he is one of five recovering from stress fractures of the back and one of three who were sidelined with the issue this month alone.

And Pietersen believes this worrying trend is simply a result of seamers not bowling enough, claiming they are “molly-coddled in between games” and “can’t cope with tough, long days with the ball because they’re not used to it”.

Archer has endured a torrid time with injuries

Archer has endured a torrid time with injuries
Gareth Copley/Getty Images for ECB)

“His stress fracture to the back follows a pattern of these injuries being sustained by England bowlers,” Pietersen continued. “I do think that the number of sports scientists can complicate things far too much.

“When I was playing, fast bowlers used to bowl a lot of overs in the nets and got bowling fit. They went through the hard yards in their preparation and weren’t molly-coddled in between games.

“Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Glenn McGrath and all the other greats weren’t told how many balls they could bowl by a sports scientist every day. They knew their bodies and got properly fit.

“It feels now like England’s fast bowlers can’t cope with tough, long days with the ball because they’re not used to it.” Pietersen’s comments echo those made by former England quick Steve Harmison.

Speaking on the ‘Following On: County Cricketer’ podcast , Harmison said: “From my point of view, and people don’t want to hear it, they say I’m an idiot when I say it. They don’t bowl enough!

“It is as simple as that. The one thing that gets you fit and strong and consistent from an action point of view is bowling.

“They say ‘oh he’s in the red zone, he can’t bowl today, he can only bowl 10 balls or 20 balls’. Being in the red zone for such a long period of time…I’m not going to swear, but it is nonsense!”

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